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AB-821 School facilities: maintenance.(2009-2010)

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AB821:v97#DOCUMENT

Corrected  August 31, 2009
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2009
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 15, 2009

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2009–2010 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 821


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Brownley

February 26, 2009


An act to add Article 5 (commencing with Section 17615) to Chapter 5 of Part 10.5 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, relating to school facilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 821, as amended, Brownley. School facilities: maintenance.
(1) Existing law requires the governing board of any school district to give diligent care to the health and physical development of pupils.
This bill would create the Clean and Healthy Schools Act, and would make findings and declarations regarding indoor air quality and cleaning products. The bill would require all school districts and all nonpublic elementary and secondary schools with 50 or more pupils, by the 2010–11 2011–12 school year, or when it is economically feasible, to purchase and use exclusively environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products, as specified. The bill would require a school district or school to provide written notification submit a letter indicating that it will not purchase and use environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products to the State Department of Education and the local governing board, annually, until it determines that it is economically feasible to comply with the requirements described above. The bill also would require the State Department of Education to post on its Internet Web site information to assist school districts and schools to comply with these provisions. Because this bill would require school districts to perform new duties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 5 (commencing with Section 17615) is added to Chapter 5 of Part 10.5 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  5. Clean and Healthy Schools Act

17615.
 This article may be cited as the Clean and Healthy Schools Act.

17615.1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Children are vulnerable to, and may be severely affected by, exposure to chemicals, hazardous waste, and other environmental hazards. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that human exposure to indoor air pollutants can be two to five times and up to 100 times more hazardous than outdoor levels, and that half of schools in the United States have poor indoor air quality. The State Air Resources Board has found significant indoor air quality problems in California’s portable and traditional classrooms.
(b) Pupils, teachers, janitors, and other staff members spend a significant amount of time inside school buildings, during which time they are exposed to cleaners and cleaning maintenance products. Many cleaners and cleaning maintenance products contain known carcinogens, reproductive toxins, chemicals that cause asthma, and other hazardous ingredients.
(c) Asthma is the primary cause of school absences due to chronic disease in the United States, and is the leading cause of hospitalization for children under 15 years of age in California.
(d) Section 12400 of the Public Contract Code defines “environmentally preferable purchasing” as the procurement or acquisition of goods and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing goods or services that serve the same purpose.
(e) The benefits of cleaner indoor air in schools have been shown to reduce the incidence of asthma, allergies, and absenteeism in pupils, as well as increase teacher retention rates and reduce workers’ compensation claims. The use of environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products contributes to cleaner indoor air quality.
(f) Third-party, independent, voluntary certification programs exist that set standards for, and evaluate, environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products, such as Green Seal and EcoLogo, among others, and current standards establish environmental requirements for industrial and institutional general-purpose, restroom, glass, carpet cleaners, floor care products, and handsoaps, intended for routine cleaning of offices, schools, and institutions, and include consideration of vulnerable populations in institutional settings, such as schools and day-care facilities. Paint is not used or applied daily or often, and is not a general-purpose product used for routine cleaning of school facilities as described in this section. Products certified under these standards cannot contain carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, ingredients that cause asthma, ingredients that are corrosive to skin and eyes, heavy metals, including lead, hexavalent chromium, or selenium, either in elemental form or compounds, 2-butoxyethanol, alkylphenol ethoxylates, phthalates, ozone-depleting chemicals, or optical brighteners. The standards also establish specific limits on ingredients for acute toxicity, skin absorption, volatile organic compound content, inhalation toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, bioaccumulating compounds, biodegradability, eutrophication, combustibility, and fragrances. The standards define requirements for concentrates, dispensing systems, packaging, recyclability, labeling, and training. Standards are revised periodically and may apply to additional categories of products. Currently, the standards do not apply to cleaners for household use, food preparation operations, or medical facilities, and do not apply to air fresheners, enzymatic, or microbially active products required to be registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, such as those making claims as disinfectants or sanitizers.
(g) Existing law establishes the public school system, imposes various safety requirements, and provides state funding to school districts that contribute to operating budgets that already include janitorial programs. Schools are encouraged to use the State of California Procurement Contract to purchase environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products to maximize the available discounts and avoid developing their own separate bids.

17615.2.
 As used in this article:
(a) “Economically feasible” means that there is no net increase in the cleaning costs of a school.
(b) “Environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance product intended for routine cleaning and cleaning maintenance, including, but not limited to, general-purpose cleaners, bathroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, glass cleaners, floor cleaners, floor finishes, floor strippers, hand cleaners, and soaps” means a product that meets independent, third-party certification criteria for lesser or reduced effects on human health and the environment compared with competing goods or services that serve the same purpose. “Environmentally preferable cleaning and maintenance product” does not include any disinfecting cleaner, sanitizer, or any other antimicrobial product regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. Sec. 136 et seq.), until the United States Environmental Protection Agency adopts a final rule that may allow these products to make environmentally preferable claims and obtain and use environmentally preferable certifications.
(c) “Third-party certification” means certification by an established, independent, nationally recognized program developed for the purpose of identifying environmentally preferable products and that meets, at a minimum all of the following criteria:
(1) Has an open, public process for setting standards that involves key stakeholders.
(2) Clearly defines the fees a manufacturer must pay for certification.
(3) Clearly avoids conflicts of interest in the standard setting and product evaluation process.
(4) Has the criteria and standards for certification published and publicly available and easily accessible to purchasers, manufacturers, and the general public, such as through the program’s Internet Web site, and includes a list of certified products that meet the standards.
(5) Bases certification of the product and its packaging on criteria for reducing effects on human health and safety, ecological toxicity, other environmental impacts, and resource conservation, including, at a minimum, consideration of chemicals that cause cancer, mutagenic and reproductive harm, organ and nervous system damage, asthma, smog, ozone depletion, aquatic toxicity, bioaccumulation, and eutrophication.
(6) Requires periodic revisions and updates of the standards to remain consistent with current research about the potential impact of chemicals on human health and the environment.
(7) Monitors and reinforces the standards, provides for the authority to inspect the manufacturing facilities, and periodically does so.
(8) Has a registered, legally protected certification mark.
(9) If possible, is developed by consensus among key stakeholders.
(10) Establishes a leadership level in standards for products.

17615.3.
 (a) By the 2010–11 2011–12 school year, or when it is economically feasible, all school districts, and all nonpublic elementary and secondary schools with 50 or more pupils, shall purchase and use exclusively environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products if an environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance product exists.
(b) A school may deplete its existing cleaning and maintenance supply stocks and implement the new requirements in the next procurement cycle.
(c) If a school district or school determines that it is not economically feasible to purchase and use environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products by the 2010–11 2011–12 school year, the school district or school shall provide written notification submit a letter indicating that it will not purchase and use environmentally preferable cleaning and cleaning maintenance products to the State Department of Education and the local governing board annually, until it determines that it is economically feasible to comply with the requirements of subdivision (a).

17615.4.
 The State Department of Education shall post information on its Internet Web site to assist school districts and schools in complying with Section 17615.3.

17615.5.
 This article sets minimum standards for cleaning products used in schools. Nothing in this article shall prevent local jurisdictions from adopting guidelines that are more stringent that those defined in this article.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
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